An Inclusive College Football Playoff – MIDWEST Semifinals

Last region before the quarters.  Click on links for South, East, West

Ohio State 69, Memphis 3

(Columbus, OH) – Cardale Jones threw for 411 yards and 5 TDs, and the Buckeyes scored 2 TD in the final 39 seconds of the first half en route to a 69-3 romp at Ohio Stadium.  The American champs from Memphis could never get anything going, only amassing 290 yards as the Buckeyes devoured the usually stout Tiger defense.  Ezekiel Elliott added 134 yards and 3 touchdowns on 27 carries for the Buckeyes who move on to face Baylor in the Cotton Bowl.

Baylor 24, Ole Miss 21

(Waco, TX) – A Jaylen Walton fumble with 51 seconds to go ended Ole Miss’ chance at a stunning comeback as their 4th quarter rally fell short in their 24-21 loss to Baylor.  Bryce Petty threw for 210 yards and 3 touchdowns helping the Bears build up a 24-7 lead through three quarters.  However two late touchdowns, including a 34 yard strike from Bo Wallace to Cody Core, made it a 24-21 game with under two minutes to go.  After holding Baylor, Ole Miss had the ball at their own 28 and a minute left, but could not quite finish the job.

An Inclusive College Football Playoff – WEST Semifinals

Now, onto the West regionals of the mythical tournament.  The South and East regionals are here.

Oregon 36, Northern Illinois 17

(Eugene, OR) – Marcus Mariots threw 3 touchdown passes to cap a 21 for 24 for 241 yard day.  The Ducks defense held up their end forcing two interceptions of Drew Hare.  The first pick set up Oregon’s second touchdown in the first quarter, securing a 17-0 lead that the Ducks would not relinquish.  On a rainy day where Oregon’s usual fireworks were grounded to a mere 361 yards (120 on the ground), the Heisman winner and the Ducks stout defense carried the day.

Kansas State 48, Mississippi State 13

(Starkville, MS) – Jake Waters threw for 303 yards and 4 touchdowns, adding another on the ground as Kansas State became the first lower seed to win in this tournament, in a 48-13 romp over Mississippi State.  Tyler Lockett caught touchdowns of 32 and 5 yards as the Wildcats raced out to a 24-3 halftime lead and they were never threatened after that.  Dak Prescott’s dual threat was stymied as he was sacked 7 times and the Bulldogs were held to a paltry 2.3 yards per carry.  Kansas State will play Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl for West Supremacy.

 

An Inclusive College Football Playoff – EAST Semifinals

Now, onto the East regionals of the mythical tournament.  The South regionals are here.

Florida State 45,  Marshall 42

(Tallahassee, FL) – Stop me if you heard this, but Florida State was in trouble again.  Rakeem Cato and the Marshall Thundering Herd were not intimidated entering Doak Campbell Stadium, and when Justin Haig kicked a 26 yard FG to start the 3rd quarter, Marshall had a 24-14 lead.  However, Florida State came back again behind three second half touchdown passes from Jameis Winston.  Winston threw for 252 yards and 4 touchdowns, and Delvin Cook ran for 131 yards.  People keep wondering when the luck will run out, but Florida State survives for now.

TCU 26, Boise State 6

(Fort Worth, TX) – Aaron Green’s 43 yard run early in the 3rd quarter gave TCU a lead they would not relinquish as they strangled the Boise State offense 26-6.  Boise State, in a rainy Fort Worth, was able to stay with the Horned Frogs for a half, emerging with a 3-2 lead against the highest scoring team in the country.  However, the offense could not establish balance with a paltry 65 yards rushing.  Two late touchdowns in the fourth quarter sealed things.  TCU plays Florida State in Miami for the East finals.

 

An Inclusive College Football Playoff – SOUTH Semifinals

Expounding on the idea of an inclusive playoff more in line with what we’d expect a real sport to do, how would the tournament itself actually play out?  Well, let’s tease it out.  Suppose we keep the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl as the national semifinals?  For the regions, use the other “Big Six”.  EAST: Orange Bowl, SOUTH: Peach Bowl, MIDWEST: Cotton Bowl, WEST: Fiesta Bowl.  For the first round games, we use campus sites.  We’ll use WhatifSports simulations using today’s weather forecasts for the sites.

Alabama 52, Georgia Southern 0

(Tuscaloosa, AL) This game was over quickly as Alabama used a 21 point 2nd quarter to take a 28 point lead, too big a mountain for the run oriented Eagles to transcend.  Alabama’s defense held the Sun Belt champs to a mere 223 yards.  Meanwhile Blake Sims, as part of his 5 touchdown day, connected with Amare Cooper 8 times for 147 yards.

Michigan State 28, Georgia Tech 14

(East Lansing, MI) Jeremy Langford ran for 160 yards and 2 scores on 29 carries while Michigan State piled up 535 yards of offense in a 28-14 win over Georgia Tech at Spartan Stadium.  The Michigan
State defense successfully bottled up Georgia Tech’s nationally reknown option game, as the Yellow Jackets could only muster 321 yards total offense.  An 89 yard drive ending with a Langford touchdown with 7 minutes to go in the 3rd gave the Spartans a 21-0 lead they would not relinquish.  Zack Laskey ran for 158 yards for Georgia Tech who saw their season end at 10-4.

An Inclusive College Football Playoff

Well, the latest rankings experiment has more or less concluded.  So I won’t beat that horse here.  But how would a 16 team tournament really look in a more practical world?  So as a fun cross check, I messed around a bit:

  • I aggregated three publicly available rankings.  Kenneth Massey and Jeff Sagarin‘s computer ratings along with the AP Poll.  Normalizing, racking and stacking them – you get something like this – I only rank the top contenders and the conference champs to get to a list of contenders for the national title (scale 0 to 1):
    1. Alabama – 1.000
    2. Oregon – 0.966
    3. TCU – 0.899
    4. Ohio State – 0.892
    5. Florida State – 0.877
    6. Baylor – 0.873
    7. Mississippi State – 0.830
    8. Michigan State – 0.815
    9. Ole Miss – 0.812
    10. Kansas State – 0.732
    11. Georgia – 0.731
    12. Georgia Tech – 0.694
    13. Arizona – 0.673
    14. Auburn – 0.663
    15. UCLA – 0.660
    16. Missouri – 0.635
    17. Arizona State – 0.617
    18. Wisconsin – 0.594
    19. Clemson – 0.594
    20. LSU – 0.578
    21. Boise State – 0.514
    22. Marshall – 0.423
    23. Memphis – 0.385
    24. Cincinnati – 0.369
    25. Central Florida – 0.348
    26. Northern Illinois – 0.329
    27. Georgia Southern – 0.308

So – what does a tournament look like?

  • Automatic Bids – Baylor gets the Big 12’s berth here due to a head-to-head breaking a 2-way tie – there is no reason for the Big 12 to have a championship game as a team which plays a full round robin.  A three way tie defers to the above standings (and why we listed the three AAC co-champs).
    • SEC: Alabama (1)
    • Pac-12: Oregon (2)
    • Big Ten: Ohio State (4)
    • ACC: Florida State (5)
    • Big 12: Baylor (6)
    • Mountain West: Boise State (21)
    • Conference USA: Marshall (22)
    • American: Memphis (23)
    • MAC: Northern Illinois (26)
    • Sun Belt: Georgia Southern (27)
  • At-Large Bids.  Easy here to go right down the line.  That said, #12 Georgia Tech gets the nod over #11 Georgia for the last playoff spot because of their recent head-to-head.
    • TCU (3)
    • Mississippi State (7)
    • Michigan State (8)
    • Ole Miss (9)
    • Kansas State (10)
    • Georgia Tech (12)
  • Apply the S-Curve
    • Alabama-Michigan State-Ole Miss-Georgia Southern
    • Oregon-Mississippi State-Kansas State-Northern Illinois
    • TCU-Baylor-Georgia Tech-Memphis
    • Ohio State-Florida State-Boise State-Marshall
  • Final Result (A plays B, C plays D in semis) – some small changes to balance the bracket and recognize some minor primacy for conference championships. TCU gets moved to a #2 seed with Baylor while FSU hops up to the #1 seed.  Also (as the NCAA might for basketball) we shuffle Georgia Tech and Ole Miss to eliminate a rematch possibility with Alabama.
    • Region A: SOUTH
      • Alabama v Georgia Southern
      • Michigan State v Georgia Tech
    • Region B: EAST
      • Florida State v Marshall
      • TCU v Boise State
    • Region C: WEST
      • Oregon v Northern Illinois
      • Mississippi State v Kansas State
    • Region D: MIDWEST
      • Ohio State v Memphis
      • Baylor v Ole Miss

2014 College Football – Final Rankings and Thoughts

Well, there you go: Alabama-Ohio State and Oregon-Florida State is the first true National Semifinal. Three cartoonishly loathsome programs (to a degree or another) and one actually loathsome one (hello, Jameis Winston and his gutless buddies and coach and Attorney General).  After all, it’s one thing to root against LeBron James for some TV show – Kirk Herbstreit blathering about how FSU has transcended the distraction of a rape hearing is decidedly another.  Oregon is the clear people’s champ here – if nothing else because they are the best dressed.  Anyway, other thoughts:

  • One of the silliest things about today’s fanfare is that the season actually has not ended.  There is Army-Navy next week, and if the committee were serious about its job, that game does matter since it is one of Ohio State’s schedule data points.  This leads to another matter.
  • Did this committee actually study all 129 FBS schools?  This is one of the questions one had about this job as opposed to the NCAA Basketball Selection Committee.  After all, Northern Illinois and Troy are not identical teams.  I would expect the basketball selection committee to know about mid-majors – it is part of the gig.  Here, the mid-majors did not seem to figure into calculations.  Florida State lined up an FCS team and did not get dinged – neither did Oregon.
  • The Final Four that was chosen was entirely defensible.  The thought process was not.  If TCU was #3 last week, nothing happened to drop them to #6.  If anything, Ohio State’s vivisection of Wisconsin should have jeopardized #4 Florida State, who had to recover an onside kick to beat a good Georgia Tech team.
  • When Jeff Long pointed out the Big XII’s lack of a championship game as a problem, that seriously strained the credibility of the committee.  The conferences that have championship games needed them – because the schedules were asymmetric.  The Big XII played a true round robin – there was no need to agonize over the result.  If you care about conference championships, you can care about it either way.  That the committee needed an additional datapoint is hogwash.
  • I read a lot about the Big XII pointing out that they need a championship game to avoid these issues.  That is stupid – championship games are usually money losers and the selection committee does not have it as a hard and fast rule.
  • At the end of the day though, this is a television program, and so having geographic diversity makes sense.  The “right” four teams can mean lots of things after all.

A true tournament would be a 16-teamer of course.  How would it look this year?  We’ll use the rankings below because what the hell – at least I tried harder than Condi did.

Automatic Bids:

  • SEC (Alabama – #1)
  • Big Ten (Ohio State – #2)
  • Big XII (Baylor – #3, get the automatic bid by virtue of head to head)
  • Pac-12 (Oregon – #6)
  • ACC (Florida State – #8)
  • Mountain West (Boise State – #10)
  • Conference USA (Marshall – #12)
  • American (Cincinnati – #27, 3 way tie broken by rank)
  • Mid-American (Northern Illinois – #33)
  • Sun Belt (Georgia Southern – #36)

At Large Bids: TCU (#4), Michigan State (#5), Ole Miss (#7), Mississippi State (#9), Wisconsin (#11), Georgia Tech (#15 – beat #14 and #13, actual scores close and why not).

Brackets – we flip flop Boise State and Wisconsin to avoid the rematch in Round 1:

  • Alabama (1) v Georgia Southern (16)
  • Florida State (8) v Mississippi State (9)
  • TCU (4) v Georgia Tech (13)
  • Michigan State (5) v Marshall (12)
  • Ohio State (2) v Northern Illinois (15)
  • Ole Miss (7) v Wisconsin (10)
  • Baylor (3) v Cincinnati (14)
  • Oregon (6) v Boise State (11)

 

Weekly Power Rankings

Rank Team W L RPI Scale DSR Scale TotalRank
1 Alabama 12 1 0.953 (2) 1 (1) 0.976
2 Ohio State 12 1 0.922 (3) 0.923 (2) 0.923
3 Baylor 11 1 0.885 (6) 0.898 (4) 0.892
4 TCU 11 1 0.897 (5) 0.884 (6) 0.89
5 Michigan State 10 2 0.806 (10) 0.92 (3) 0.863
6 Oregon 12 1 0.908 (4) 0.809 (11) 0.859
7 Ole Miss 9 3 0.788 (13) 0.887 (5) 0.838
8 Florida State 13 0 1 (1) 0.663 (29) 0.831
9 Mississippi State 10 2 0.849 (8) 0.806 (12) 0.828
10 Boise State 11 2 0.859 (7) 0.785 (15) 0.822
11 Wisconsin 10 3 0.763 (16) 0.822 (10) 0.792
12 Marshall 12 1 0.832 (9) 0.736 (19) 0.784
13 Georgia 9 3 0.721 (24) 0.824 (8) 0.773
14 Clemson 9 3 0.76 (17) 0.783 (16) 0.772
15 Georgia Tech 10 3 0.784 (14) 0.751 (17) 0.768
16 Louisville 9 3 0.733 (22) 0.79 (14) 0.762
17 Auburn 8 4 0.706 (26) 0.793 (13) 0.75
18 LSU 8 4 0.655 (34) 0.829 (7) 0.742
19 Colorado State 10 2 0.802 (11) 0.615 (39) 0.708
20 Kansas State 9 3 0.739 (21) 0.676 (24) 0.707
21 UCLA 9 3 0.76 (18) 0.636 (37) 0.698
22 Arizona 11 3 0.8 (12) 0.571 (49) 0.686
23 Nebraska 9 3 0.725 (23) 0.646 (34) 0.685
24 Oklahoma 8 4 0.637 (37) 0.72 (20) 0.679
25 Arizona State 9 3 0.742 (19) 0.604 (41) 0.673
26 Arkansas 6 6 0.52 (58) 0.823 (9) 0.671
27 Cincinnati 9 3 0.713 (25) 0.625 (38) 0.669
28 USC 8 4 0.681 (30) 0.647 (32) 0.664
29 West Virginia 7 5 0.572 (47) 0.75 (18) 0.661
30 UCF 9 3 0.681 (31) 0.639 (35) 0.66
31 BYU 8 4 0.623 (39) 0.678 (23) 0.65
32 Missouri 10 3 0.74 (20) 0.534 (60) 0.637
33 Northern Illinois 11 2 0.763 (15) 0.51 (65) 0.636
34 Stanford 7 5 0.582 (45) 0.688 (22) 0.635
35 Memphis 9 3 0.688 (29) 0.582 (46) 0.635
36 Georgia Southern 9 3 0.691 (27) 0.577 (47) 0.634
37 East Carolina 8 4 0.587 (43) 0.667 (27) 0.627
38 Louisiana Tech 8 5 0.624 (38) 0.613 (40) 0.619
39 Air Force 8 3 0.69 (28) 0.544 (56) 0.617
40 Minnesota 8 4 0.661 (33) 0.558 (53) 0.609
41 Boston College 7 5 0.549 (54) 0.669 (26) 0.609
42 Notre Dame 7 5 0.571 (48) 0.637 (36) 0.604
43 Miami-FL 6 6 0.506 (62) 0.672 (25) 0.589
44 Duke 9 3 0.648 (36) 0.526 (62) 0.587
45 Florida 6 5 0.527 (55) 0.646 (33) 0.586
46 Iowa 7 5 0.512 (60) 0.658 (31) 0.585
47 Utah State 9 4 0.675 (32) 0.482 (72) 0.579
48 Texas A&M 7 5 0.585 (44) 0.567 (51) 0.576
49 Western Michigan 8 4 0.588 (42) 0.553 (54) 0.571
50 Virginia Tech 6 6 0.477 (71) 0.659 (30) 0.568
51 Pittsburgh 6 6 0.435 (81) 0.693 (21) 0.564
52 LA-Lafayette 8 4 0.6 (41) 0.525 (63) 0.562
53 Penn State 6 6 0.458 (77) 0.663 (28) 0.561
54 Toledo 8 4 0.615 (40) 0.493 (70) 0.554
55 NC State 7 5 0.56 (51) 0.539 (59) 0.549
56 Utah 8 4 0.649 (35) 0.444 (81) 0.546
57 Tennessee 6 6 0.493 (65) 0.594 (44) 0.544
58 Navy 6 5 0.525 (57) 0.551 (55) 0.538
59 Arkansas State 7 5 0.498 (64) 0.577 (48) 0.537
60 Houston 7 5 0.474 (73) 0.595 (43) 0.534
61 Appalachian State 7 5 0.463 (75) 0.596 (42) 0.529
62 Texas 6 6 0.489 (66) 0.569 (50) 0.529
63 Western Kentucky 7 5 0.563 (50) 0.494 (69) 0.529
64 South Carolina 6 6 0.474 (72) 0.56 (52) 0.517
65 North Carolina 6 6 0.498 (63) 0.533 (61) 0.515
66 Central Michigan 7 5 0.482 (68) 0.544 (57) 0.513
67 Rice 7 5 0.558 (53) 0.464 (74) 0.511
68 Washington 8 5 0.564 (49) 0.453 (79) 0.508
69 Maryland 7 5 0.559 (52) 0.448 (80) 0.504
70 San Diego State 7 5 0.512 (59) 0.484 (71) 0.498
71 Rutgers 7 5 0.575 (46) 0.413 (90) 0.494
72 UTEP 7 5 0.526 (56) 0.457 (77) 0.491
73 Michigan 5 7 0.394 (85) 0.587 (45) 0.49
74 Nevada 6 5 0.506 (61) 0.456 (78) 0.481
75 UAB 6 6 0.438 (78) 0.511 (64) 0.475
76 Texas State 7 5 0.47 (74) 0.471 (73) 0.471
77 Virginia 5 7 0.391 (87) 0.539 (58) 0.465
78 MTSU 6 6 0.463 (76) 0.441 (82) 0.452
79 Northwestern 5 7 0.388 (88) 0.507 (67) 0.448
80 South Alabama 6 6 0.438 (79) 0.457 (76) 0.447
81 California 5 7 0.392 (86) 0.501 (68) 0.447
82 Illinois 6 6 0.479 (69) 0.407 (92) 0.443
83 Oklahoma State 6 6 0.483 (67) 0.354 (99) 0.418
84 Temple 6 6 0.434 (82) 0.389 (94) 0.411
85 Fresno State 5 7 0.4 (84) 0.421 (84) 0.411
86 Ohio 6 6 0.422 (83) 0.39 (93) 0.406
87 Old Dominion 6 6 0.438 (80) 0.367 (98) 0.402
88 Kentucky 5 7 0.368 (89) 0.42 (86) 0.394
89 Oregon State 5 7 0.364 (90) 0.42 (85) 0.392
90 Bowling Green 7 6 0.479 (70) 0.3 (110) 0.389
91 Washington State 3 9 0.258 (101) 0.507 (66) 0.383
92 Texas Tech 4 8 0.312 (94) 0.424 (83) 0.368
93 Buffalo 5 6 0.314 (93) 0.407 (91) 0.36
94 Akron 5 7 0.296 (97) 0.418 (88) 0.357
95 Ball State 5 7 0.325 (91) 0.33 (103) 0.327
96 Wyoming 4 8 0.3 (95) 0.341 (101) 0.321
97 Colorado 2 10 0.181 (114) 0.458 (75) 0.32
98 LA-Monroe 4 8 0.261 (100) 0.375 (96) 0.318
99 San Jose State 3 8 0.221 (106) 0.415 (89) 0.318
100 Indiana 4 8 0.298 (96) 0.325 (105) 0.312
101 Syracuse 3 9 0.255 (102) 0.368 (97) 0.312
102 Tulane 3 9 0.208 (109) 0.381 (95) 0.295
103 New Mexico 4 8 0.315 (92) 0.267 (113) 0.291
104 FIU 4 8 0.218 (107) 0.336 (102) 0.277
105 Purdue 3 9 0.217 (108) 0.311 (107) 0.264
106 South Florida 4 8 0.271 (98) 0.243 (118) 0.257
107 Hawaii 4 8 0.237 (103) 0.273 (111) 0.255
108 Southern Miss 3 9 0.223 (105) 0.271 (112) 0.247
109 UTSA 4 8 0.264 (99) 0.218 (120) 0.241
110 Kansas 3 9 0.208 (110) 0.248 (116) 0.228
111 Iowa State 2 10 0.153 (116) 0.301 (109) 0.227
112 Florida Atlantic 3 9 0.185 (113) 0.263 (114) 0.224
113 Massachusetts 3 9 0.123 (118) 0.322 (106) 0.222
114 North Texas 4 8 0.191 (112) 0.247 (117) 0.219
115 Miami-OH 2 10 0.08 (123) 0.351 (100) 0.215
116 Idaho 1 10 0 (129) 0.42 (87) 0.21
117 Tulsa 2 10 0.092 (120) 0.327 (104) 0.209
118 Army 4 7 0.232 (104) 0.181 (123) 0.206
119 Wake Forest 3 9 0.201 (111) 0.211 (121) 0.206
120 Kent State 2 9 0.095 (119) 0.305 (108) 0.2
121 Vanderbilt 3 9 0.178 (115) 0.164 (125) 0.171
122 Troy 3 9 0.15 (117) 0.186 (122) 0.168
123 New Mexico State 2 10 0.061 (127) 0.262 (115) 0.162
124 UNLV 2 11 0.089 (122) 0.222 (119) 0.155
125 Connecticut 2 10 0.077 (124) 0.152 (126) 0.114
126 Georgia State 1 11 0.009 (128) 0.168 (124) 0.088
127 Eastern Michigan 2 10 0.091 (121) 0.032 (127) 0.062
128 SMU 1 11 0.077 (125) 0 (129) 0.038
129 Non FBS 8 100 0.071 (126) 0.003 (128) 0.037

Foo Fighters Sonic Highways (TV)

What is most interesting about Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways is how it frankly fails at its stated thesis while being a lovely, entertaining piece of television anyway.  On some level, this is obvious – Grohl’s idea of visiting a city and capturing its essence as a muse for a Foo Fighters song is both a spectacular overambitious and muddled idea.  What does that even mean?  Grohl is not a chameleon shape shifting from one genre to another (unlike say, Prince).  The songs at the end of each episode sound very much like Foo Fighters songs.  (which is not a complain at all, but the “spirit of location” is not exactly present).  Obviously, this conceit comes up because the Foo Fighters needed some motivation to write new songs and record a new album, and these days you need something to help the album along.  Taylor Swift goes to Target, Dave Grohl goes to David Letterman (whose studio is involved) and HBO.

Grohl himself now occupies an interesting place in popular culture.  As he noted in the Seattle episode, he was a late arrival to Nirvana – that Kurt Cobain and Kris Novoselic were the creative engine – and then ended up as drummer in one of … well you don’t need me to tell you.  And now, he is fronting a band which has gone on almost 20 years, turned into legit rock fuddy duddies, and still remains one of the better bands out there.  Basically, imagine if Ringo Starr fronted Wings and you sort of get the idea.  As a result, when you see him on the telly or on the show, you get a guy who is very much a fan and grateful for the career he has had – both being able to drink up the success of two of the most consequential bands of the era without the scarring of Cobain.

It is interesting here, as Grohl firmly places himself and Foo Fighters as a vestige of a rock and roll time past, in a sense auditioning for classic rock radio. (a battle he won’t win because hey, somebody has to play 38 Special records)  In the first episode in Chicago, Grohl deals in Buddy Guy and Bonnie Raitt – in Seattle we see Heart, in Nashville Dolly Parton.  We are checking off boxes here.  In this sense, we are getting fairly standard rock and roll travelogue.  It is clearly an attempt to “capture the musical essence” of a city or whatever – but as much as writing the Great American Novel almost always results in failure, Grohl does not really get anywhere here.  This is most notable in the Seattle episode where he touches on Seattle hip hop with Macklemore for no apparent reason, aside to show that he did it.  The interviews are engaging, but inconsequential.

Of course, writing the Great American Novel will never work.  But as writing teachers I’ve had advised – paradoxically the most universal stories are the most personal.  And there is a lot personal here blessedly.  Grohl is a generous director, leaving his subjects space to talk, and when he is on screen you see genuine excitement.  He gets jazzed up by meeting Tony Joe White.  And the idea of Zack Brown fighting against the Nashville machine (which seems more or less identical to the process that is used to make Boy Bands, or Skittles) clearly enthuses him too.  But where the series really shines is when Grohl gets to talk about his own influences.  One of my favorite interviews was with his own cousin in Chicago who took him to his first punk show.  He talks about the lack of enthusiasm that he had for going somewhere with his mom, and how blown away he was when his cousin turned out to be a punkhead.  It is even more present in the Washington DC episode, where he trods the area he knows best, talking about how much Bad Brains and Dischord Records meant to him.  Passionately discussing The Germs in Los Angeles (Pat Smear’s old band) or the sadness when he recalls the end of the Nirvana time and Cobain’s death – you get the heart of the show and the stuff that I knew less about.

Tonight is the season finale, the New York episode.  I am not sure where it will lead.  The show has been unfocused at times clearly, and has aimed for too much.  But it has never been dull, and at times legitimately touching.